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Old 12 June 2012, 23:25   #1
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Aqua-pro Alumninum hull/floor pros/cons

I'm new to the hobby and am considering a 14 foot 1999 Aqua-pro aluminum hard bottom inflatable with an aluminum deck. What are the pros & cons of aluminum vs. fiberglass? Does anybody have +/- comments about this particular Aqua-pro regarding durability and maneuverability?
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Old 13 June 2012, 01:17   #2
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what is the shape of the deck, flat or v? anyone else know?
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Old 13 June 2012, 08:45   #3
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The deck is flat
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Old 13 June 2012, 09:53   #4
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In general:

Aluminum hull will be lighter (in weight) than a comparable glass hull; may cause a somewhat rougher ride assuming equivalent hull forms. Aluminum is stronger both in terms of small and large impact, so it's a good choice if you may be bouncing off rocks. Depending on the hull, it's easy to repair, if you've got a good welder friend around. It's harder to keep a new aluminum hull looking new, IMO, though the weathered aluminum look isn't all that bad, either. Some people say they get hot/cold with exposure, but I haven't found that to be a problem.

You do have to watch for electrolysis if you leave it in the water; on a trailer not so much.

Don't have a clue about the specific boat you're talking about, sorry.

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Old 13 June 2012, 11:45   #5
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Is it hypalon or PVC? Has this aquapro been in the PNW since it was imported? I'm assuming its an aluminum hull with aluminum deck as well? Do you know the deadrise? (v-ness of the hull).

Most importantly, what do you want to do with it?
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Old 13 June 2012, 12:52   #6
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pix of the boat-shows deadrise

Hi PSatushek asked me to jump in with pix. 14-foot Aquapro RIB aluminum hard bottom inflatable. Aquapro inflatables are made in Aukland, New Zealand. The inflatable is in good condition, no patches on the tubes.
Coundn't find anything archived on the web. East Coast distributor is non-responsive. Not sure if this 14' boat is the rope pull on tube design. if so, what is replacement cost? (If ever needed) The green you see on the hull is a stain from paint removal. Plain ole' aluminum is fine with us, gives it character. We would trailer it. We will use for family activities on calmer puget sound and surrounding lakes, may want to beach it, tow a tube or a novice skier. This was a tender for a yacht. Always in PNW, we would be the second owner.

RIB Magazine.com tested a 16', not sure if the year or length matters. read Powerboat and RIB Magazine - Aquapro 1601
sounded scary

I assume that construction hardware to attach the fiberglass parts and motor are the type that wouldn't cause corrosion.









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Old 13 June 2012, 14:57   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inflatology View Post
...not sure if the... ...length matters
Oh yes, it does... (seriously, and not just for the misses...)
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Old 14 June 2012, 00:16   #8
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Ha Ha

So if a 16' is squirlley, then would a 14 be more or less so?

What is the deadrise you see in the pix?
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Old 14 June 2012, 09:37   #9
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Lower pic; hard to see, but it appears that you may have some sort of cathedral hull shape going on in the back (hull rises up from the keel, then back down before hitting the tubes.) That's going to make for a rough ride in chop, if that is the case. Ask any Boston Whaler Montauk owner.

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Old 14 June 2012, 17:16   #10
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....so what is used in between the hull and deck on 13 y/o alums, is there foam in there like fiberglass? Can't really tap out soft hull probs, any advise on inspection?
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Old 14 June 2012, 17:25   #11
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I've done some work on these, PVC tubes, glued on and etch primed and painted hulls/decks.
Look to be pretty well made and power to weight is quite something on the 4mtr, the owner of one I worked on was probably 20 stone and it plained with a 6hp four stroke!
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Old 14 June 2012, 18:53   #12
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Plane with a 6hp? Holy crap, are you sure you didn't mean 60?

Sorry, forgot to mention earlier, this one is Hypalon.

This one has a 50hp on it, do we need wings?

This doesn't sound like a family boat, it sounds like a hydroplane with an outboard.
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Old 15 June 2012, 11:42   #13
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14' with a 50 should be fine. Nothing says you have to have the throttle pinned at all times.

For the motor, corrosion shouldn't be much of an issue. Stainless bolts, slathered with an anti-corrosion compound, then sealed up with marine caulk will be fine.

Do you have any pics of the deck from the top down? I notice the area where the anchor locker would be looks to be fiberglass. Odd that, if the deck is aluminum, the locker wouldn't be as well.

Any inspection hatches or wiring raceways (assuming either exist) should let you peek into the bilge and see what construction is like. I'd assume the hull was laid down, a network of stringers welded or riveted vertically, and the floor on top, again welded or riveted (welded is a lot stronger, but harder to take apart should the need arise.)

As far as needing hydrofoils, you'd need to run the boat to see if there's a need or not.

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Old 17 June 2012, 19:47   #14
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ok, by hydroplane I meant the boat is scary fast and would fly above the water.

I just found out the seller was an ex Navy Seal and this was his play boat.

Did a compression check before taking posession, 85-95!!!!

Walked away.

Found a 1996 Novurania yesterday. Looks like a 2004, pristine/immaculate! BUT, the glue is still 16 years old, not 8 years old. They want 2004 price.

How much life is left in the perfect 16 year old boat.
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